CHESS/iEarth joint course on “communication skills in outreach and teaching”

Picture by Torgny Roxå. Making fortune tellers for outreach and teaching purposes and also playing with coffe from inspiration by an example fortune teller.

Practicing explaining topics related to global warming. How do you explain e.g. the greenhouse effects or why it rains more in Bergen now than 20 years ago?

CHESS is training the climate scientists of tomorrow, iEarth is changing teaching culture in Norwegian geosciences. Naturally, PhD students from both centers have a lot to talk about, and that they are coming at it from different angles makes it even more interesting!

This course started out with 13 weekly online seminars where 13 PhD students, organizers, and enthusiastic guest speakers met to discuss a diverse range of topics related to communication and teaching with. In September, we ran a three-day in-person workshop to bring it all together and practice! We had lots of fun with morning activities on outreach ideas inspired by the xkcd “upgoer 5” editor, making fortune tellers and playing with “kitchen oceanography”. But the most important part of the workshops were our phenomenal guest speakers. Robert Kordts led a session on microteaching. Anders Ahlberg worked with us on providing feedback and understanding research ethics. Torgny Roxå helped us get into why some people resist knowledge. On the last day, Kikki Kleiven and Helge Drange shared their experience in doing science communication as climate scientists and gave feedback on our own attempts.

Thank you to CHESS and iEarth for making this possible, and for our cool group of participants and guest speakers for being so constructive and engaged! We loved getting to know both “rock-knowers”, and people working on “the big blue water”, or “big turning air things”.

Text and photos: Mirjam and Kjersti

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